Jigsaw that's better for straight cuts and at angles.

28 Jul 2008
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United Kingdom
I'm currently trying to cut some 18mm MDF, and my jigsaw isn't up to the task. Even using a guide for the straight lines it veers to one side and the cut isn't vertical. It's a new blade and I'm not rushing it. The jigsaw is a pretty old (but not worn out) bottom-end Black & Decker. I feel there's too much lateral give in the blade and torque-steer (I can only think of a car analogy for the this characteristic!) to keep it straight.

I know people will suggest using a circular saw, but I've tried that and found it too aggressive and difficult to get close to my marked line. I've also got to make some cuts that are not vertical, but at a slight angle, so I a jigsaw maybe easier for this. Also need to some curves where a jigsaw is the only option, so doing it all with one tool would be easier.

Is their a decent jigsaw that people can recommend that's suits this kind of job where cuts have to be more precise, rather than big heavy-duty or faster cutting stuff?
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18mm depth shouldn't wander. Is it a decent quality sharp blade and the right type for the job as well as being new?

I have an old 70's B&D jigsaw with no bells or whistles and it works fine. Yours just may be knackered.

Go steady, (snails pace) left hand on the baseplate for stability, keep your eye on the blade and aim to cut the pencil line in half.

Circ saw beats jiggy hands down for straight cuts, and angled cuts, fine sharp blade makes a hell of a difference though.
jigsaws are well known for wandering from the high to the low end off the price spectrum
in general most will crab slightly the nack it to just line the blade to the cut and egnore the machine position as this may be well off line ;)
It's more to do with the blade than anything else. I've got a Hitachi and it still wanders.
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big-all is right keep your eye on the blade and let the machine crab
it's possible to tighten the blade in and for it to be off by a few degrees making it veer of course.. like the rest of them said, guide the blade and ignore the machine.. let it move sideways if it needs to to keep the blade straight.
The problem isn't the wandering above - but the wandering below that you have no control over.
depends on your budget really,

id recomend the bosch gts135 of festool ps300, they both cut bang on,

i also have a battery dewalt which is ok but not as good as the others

edit to add, dont use cheap blades!!
I must say too.. that the Hilti jigsaws i've used always seemed to wander a lot less than most others i'd used.. they cost an arm and a leg tho..
Bought a McKenzie jobbie today which is way better than my old B&D. OK, it does crab, but at least it's consistent and controllable, and I managed some pretty good straight lines. Getting the angled cuts wasn't quite so easy, but still not bad. The jigsaw has fixed angles of 0,15,30,..., degrees, but I wanted 8 deg, so had to do some adjustments to achieve this.

I also tried my circular saw again on a long straight cut. The problem was getting it aligned with my line initially as the guide is only good for aiming on one side of a line. It also wasn't too great at keeping straight and was harder to control.
by the way.. while we're here.. how neatly do jigsaws cut through aluminium.. say up to 3mm thickness?
depends on your budget really,

id recomend the bosch gts135 of festool ps300, they both cut bang on,

i also have a battery dewalt which is ok but not as good as the others

edit to add, dont use cheap blades!!

I have the Festool ps300 and use the bosch progressor jigsaw blades.

Blade wander is rarely an issue but the saw is crap at cutting ply as the dust extraction holes get clogged (by the splinters) and you have to dismantle the base plate to empty it every 5 minutes.

Excellent build quality and only let down by clogging (and price).

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